CLAIM: Futurist interpreters claim that Luke is the only author of the Synoptics to mention the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. Matthew and Mark omit this from their accounts of the Olivet Discourse, and they instead mention the destruction of the Third Temple at the end of human history. Isn’t this needlessly confusing?
RESPONSE: Luke tips us off to the fact that he is mentioning the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. Luke writes, “But before all these things…” (Lk. 21:12). In other words, Luke adds a number of things that Matthew and Mark didn’t.
Moreover, Matthew does mention the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. He mentions this in Matthew 23:38, when Jesus says, “Your house is being left to you desolate.” And in Matthew 24:2, he tells the disciples, “Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” However, in the rest of his discourse, he moves forward into the further future.
NT scholars universally recognize that Matthew wrote his gospel for the Jews, while Luke wrote his gospel for the Gentiles. This section in Luke 21:20-24 refers to “the times of the Gentiles.” Matthew’s account contains everything that is important for the Jewish timeline, while Luke records everything necessary for the Gentile timeline. Since they were writing for different purposes, this makes perfect sense for each respective author.